Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 167–172 | Cite as

German national drug information service: user satisfaction and potential positive patient outcomes

  • Thilo Bertsche
  • Andrea Hämmerlein
  • Martin SchulzEmail author
Research Article



The pharmacist-run national German drug information service (DIS) has operated since 1988. Answering a steadily increasing demand over the past decade, our centre has, in total, provided information in more than 14,000 cases, mainly for community pharmacists. Information on user’s satisfaction and on possible direct or indirect benefits for patients is as yet scarce. Our objectives were to assess user’s satisfaction with the DIS and to identify any patient-related benefits based on the user’s judgment.


Independent national drug information centre at ABDA headquarters.


A questionnaire was developed, pre-tested, optimized, and used in daily practice over a period of one year (09/2003–08/2004). The questionnaire comprised seven items, aimed only at inquiries which pertained to a patient-related issue.


During the study period, a total of 1,639 inquiries were answered. Of these, 1,017 (62%) were eligible. The response rate was 45% (455/1,017). Ratings (1 = poor to 5 = very good, mean  ±  SD) showed positive evaluations for professional quality of advice␣(4.7 ± 0.5), clarity/understandability of advice (4.7 ± 0.5), timeliness of response (4.6 ± 0.7), and helpfulness regarding counselling patients and/or physicians (4.6 ± 0.6). Potential patient benefits could be identified in 42% of the cases that were available to follow-up (190/455).


This evaluation showed high satisfaction among users of a nationwide DIS, based on quality, understandability, timeliness, and helpfulness regarding counselling. According to its users, DIS was also able to provide positive patient outcomes.


Drug information Evaluation Germany Guideline Patient outcomes Pharmacy practice Quality Questionnaire Satisfaction Survey 


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We sincerely thank our colleagues in the Centre for Drug Information and Pharmacy Practice (ZAPP), Margit Schmidt, Ralf Goebel Ph.D., Christiane Sauerwein, Susanne Roth, Nina Griese Ph.D., Karin Berger MPH, Christiane Eickhoff Ph.D., Uta Müller Ph.D. MPH, and Susanne vom Scheidt, for their ongoing and unrestricted support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thilo Bertsche
    • 1
    • 3
  • Andrea Hämmerlein
    • 1
  • Martin Schulz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Drug Information and Pharmacy Practice (ZAPP), ABDA—Federal Union of German Associations of PharmacistsBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of PharmacologyJohann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversityFrankfurtGermany
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine VI, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, Cooperation Unit Clinical Pharmacy (in cooperation with the hospital pharmacy)University Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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